Having the vaccine won’t let you get back to normal immediately

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England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that, even after people are vaccinated, they will not be able to return to normal life immediately.

“Until we are properly confident of how the vaccine works and properly confident that disease levels are dropping, even if you have had the vaccine, you are going to need to continue to follow all the rules that apply for a while longer,” the deputy chief medical officer told BBC 5 Live.

“It is not something we are going to leave people waiting on for ever but we have got to follow the science, we have got to see the data that gives us the assurance that we can tell people that they can relax in certain ways and have a fairly high degree of confidence that it is safe to do so.

“It is a new disease, it is a new vaccination programme. We have to take it step by step and see carefully what is going to be unlocked for us. What can be unlocked will be unlocked but we have to take it really carefully in the first instance.”

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who revealed his mother calls him “Jonny”, said he has told her she must get the vaccine.

Asked how he would reassure care home residents and their families about the safety of the vaccine, the deputy chief medical officer told the BBC: “Look, I completely understand the anxieties, so I think what I would do is tackle this in three ways.

“Number one, to tell you, plain and straight, that I genuinely have said to my 78-year-old mum, who’s probably listening now – ‘Mum, you must have this vaccine, or any of the vaccines that the MHRA approves as soon as they are available. This is really important, because you are so at risk’.

“So that’s a kind of personal piece, if you like. I’m very confident in the assessments the MHRA makes.”



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